Around the Rink – Tuesday, January 18th

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With 10 games tonight, we’ll keep these previews short and sweet. As always, start times go according to Eastern Standard Time (ET).

7:00 pm

Detroit @ Pittsburgh

No Sidney Crosby or Pavel Datsyuk? That’s fine, because these two teams still boast other world-class talents to enthrall the hockey world. Who knows if these two clubs can manage another Stanley Cup final confrontation, but would it be that shocking if this ended up being a preview?

Washington @ Philadelphia

From a possible SCF preview to a possible Eastern Conference final sneak peek, tonight’s games has a little of everything. (But jeez, schedule makers, couldn’t you spread the wealth?) Both teams are playing pretty well, so this should be fun.

Boston @ Carolina

This might not be the same marquee matchup as the previous two games, but considering the 7-0 drubbing Boston handed to Carolina on Monday, it should be interesting. The Hurricanes have a great chance to get into the playoff picture, but getting pounded by Boston again wouldn’t be good for their mojo.

7:30 pm

Montreal @ Buffalo

This might not be a high-scoring game, but if you like great goaltending, a probable Carey Price vs. Ryan Miller showdown should leave you satisfied. (Then again, merely writing that might jinx the game into a 6-5 slugfest.)

Columbus @ Tampa Bay

The Lightning are tied with the Islanders for the most goals allowed (148) while the Blue Jackets aren’t far behind with 142 allowed. Odds are high that this game will be the polar opposite of the Montreal-Buffalo game, but we’ll see.

Anaheim @ Ottawa

It feels awkward to remind people that this is a rematch of the 2007 Stanley Cup finals considering how much these teams have changed. But when you factor in the absence of Jason Spezza and Ryan Getzlaf, it’s probably the easiest way to hype it.

8:00 pm

Los Angeles @ St. Louis

The Kings are coming off of a tough loss to the Stars last night and lost nine of their last 11 games. Meanwhile, the Blues are strong at home, more well-rested and will welcome TJ Oshie back into the lineup. St. Louis needs to win games like these, but it won’t be easy. I think.

9:00 pm

Nashville @ Phoenix

If the playoffs began today, this would be the fourth vs. fifth seed series in the West. Two scrappy teams known for making the most of what they have? That would be a sleep aid for casual fans and a treat for hockey dorks.

Vancouver @ Colorado

It doesn’t take a connoisseur to appreciate this one, though. The explosive Avs take on the league-best Canucks in Colorado. Sounds good to me.

9:30 pm

Minnesota @ Edmonton

The Wild hold a 13-point standings advantage over the Oilers, but how many hockey people would take Minnesota’s roster over Edmonton’s in the long haul? If you raised your hand, I’m worried about you … or you really, really like Mikko Koivu.

Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

Mike Richards

The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.

Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.

Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.

“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”

Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:

  • He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
  • Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
  • The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.

… Yeah.

Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.

Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?

Coyotes exploit another lousy outing from Quick

Jonathan Quick

Despite owning two Stanley Cup rings, there are a healthy number of people who aren’t wild about Jonathan Quick.

Those people might feel validated through the Los Angeles Kings’ first two games, as he followed a rough loss to the San Jose Sharks with a true stinker against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.

Sometimes a goalie has a bad night stats-wise, yet his team is as much to blame as anything else. You can probably pin this one on Quick, who allowed four goals on just 14 shots through the first two periods.

Things died down in the final frame, but let’s face it; slowing things down is absolutely the Coyotes’ design with a 4-1 lead (which ultimately resulted in a 4-1 win).


A soft 1-0 goal turned out to be a sign of things to come:

Many expected the Kings to roar into this second game after laying an egg in their opener. Instead, the Coyotes exploited Quick’s struggles for a confidence-booster, which included key prospect Max Domi scoring a goal and an assist.

It’s worth mentioning that Mike Smith looked downright fantastic at times, only drawing more attention to Quick’s struggles.


After a troubled summer and a failed 2014-15 season, Los Angeles was likely eager to start things off the right way.

Instead, they instead will likely focus on the fact that they merely dropped two (ugly) games.